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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

 

 

Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead 

Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
‘She must weep or she will die.’

Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee—
Like summer tempest came her tears—
‘Sweet my child, I live for thee.’

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Image: Franz Staffen, in: "Germanische Götter- und Heldensagen", 
published by Ludwig Schroeter, 1922

Notes: The theme is taken from the two Lays of Gudrun; the child in the poem is Tennyson´s addition.